“Walden University allowed me to continue growing in my career.”
Alvin Mena Cantero. Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) prepares students to focus their practice on the identified health needs of society, become leaders in their field through scholarship, influence the quality of patient care, manage technology and information, gain autonomy in their careers, and develop a lifelong commitment to learning. The MSN program offers a range of specializations in the most critical areas of nursing today.
MSN Learning Outcomes
At the end of this program, students will be able to:
- Synthesize organizational/systems leadership for cost-effective specialist nursing practice that contributes to high-quality healthcare delivery, advancement of the nursing profession, and social change.
- Critique evidence-based literature drawing from diverse theoretical perspectives and pertinent research to guide decision making that demonstrates best practices for specialist nursing practice in a global society.
- Integratively assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate cost-effective healthcare strategies that reduce health disparities by patient/population advocacy for access to specialist nursing care.
- Demonstrate ability to effectively communicate using audience-specific oral, written, and information technology for professional delivery of specialist nursing care.
- Evaluate health needs of diverse populations for necessary teaching/coaching functions based on specialist nursing knowledge to restore/promote health and prevent illness/injury.
- Exhibit ongoing commitment to professional development and value of nursing theories/ethical principles (altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, social justice) in accordance with ethically responsible, legally accountable, specialist nursing practice.
- Implement specialist nursing roles to promote quality improvement of patient-centered care in accordance with professional practice standards that transform health outcomes for diverse populations.
Please note: All specializations require a practicum experience or experiences.
- BSN Track: 51 or 61 quarter credits; RN Track: 76 or 86 quarter credits (depending on specialization)
- Foundation course (1 cr.)
- Professional Development Plan and program of study
- Core courses (20 cr.)
- Specialization courses (30 or 40 cr., depending on specialization)
- Portfolio (excludes Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specializations)
The MSN program has two admission tracks for registered nurses:
- BSN Track: This track is for students with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
- RN Track: This track is for students with an associate’s degree in nursing or a diploma in nursing that prepares for licensure in registered nursing. RN-MSN applications will not be accepted without a nursing degree conferred.
BSN Track: BSN graduates enter the MSN program at the core course level.
RN Track: Students complete 26 quarter credits of undergraduate-level foundational courses before starting the MSN core courses. The foundational courses contain the essential content and learning activities to prepare students for the core courses but are not equivalent to the degree requirements of a BSN program.
BSN and RN Tracks: All students complete the same MSN core and specialization curriculum. The four core courses provide students with graduate-level knowledge in areas of theory, research, diversity, legality/ethics, and healthcare systems. The specialization courses build on the core courses and offer students direction and guidance for influencing nursing practice in selected areas. A portfolio based on the specific outcomes of the program must be submitted and approved before the degree is granted. (Portfolio required for Nursing Education, Leadership and Management, Nursing Informatics, and Public Health Nursing specializations only).
Foundational and Core Curricula
BSN Track Only: Foundation Course (1 cr.)
RN Track Only: Foundation Courses (26 cr.)
BSN and RN Tracks: Core Courses (20 cr.)*
Provisional General Education Courses Available
Courses are available at Walden for those students who have not completed the minimum undergraduate credits of general education courses required for admission to the master’s program. Students who choose to complete general education courses at Walden are admitted provisionally to the RN Track of the MSN program.
Note: No course can count twice toward meeting general education requirements.
Communication (2 courses)
Arts & Humanities (2 courses)
Social/Behavioral Sciences (2 courses)
*General Education courses are available at Walden for those students who have not completed the minimum undergraduate credits of general education courses required for admission to the master’s program.
Note on Certification
The MSN nurse practitioner specializations are designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for national nurse practitioner certification exams, which are required for practice as a nurse practitioner in most states. Because no graduate program can guarantee that graduates will be permitted to practice as a nurse practitioner upon graduation, we encourage students to consult the appropriate Board of Nursing or state agency to determine specific certification exam requirements. Walden enrollment advisors can provide information relating to national certification exams; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to national certification exams for the state in which he or she intends to practice as requirements vary widely. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain national certification. For more information about nurse practitioner certification exams, students should visit the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners at www.aanpcertification.org, American Nurses Credentialing Center at www.nursecredentialing.org, or other nurse practitioner certification exam websites.
Note on Licensure
The MSN nurse practitioner specializations are designed to prepare graduates with an active registered nurse (RN) license to practice as nurse practitioners. However, each state Board of Nursing has its own academic and certification requirements and issues its own credential for an RN to be permitted to practice as a nurse practitioner in that state. Because no graduate program can guarantee that graduates will be permitted to practice as a nurse practitioner upon graduation, we encourage students to consult the appropriate Board of Nursing or state agency in the state in which he or she wishes to practice to determine specific requirements. Walden enrollment advisors can provide guidance relating to the state-by-state requirements for practice as a nurse practitioner; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to the practice as a nurse practitioner in the state in which he or she intends to practice as requirements vary widely. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential. For more information about the requirements to practice as a nurse practitioner, students should contact the appropriate Board of Nursing or state agency.
Walden is committed to providing the information you need to make an informed decision about where you pursue your education. Find detailed information for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program relating to the types of occupations this program may lead to, completion rate, program costs, and median loan debt of students who have graduated from this program: